Sadly with the lack of rain in Florida, many wading birds are pretty much forced to be in tight groups as they attempt to get whatever food they can as the water levels drop in this pond. This also gives photographers an opportunity to photograph wading birds in their natural habitat.
It’s is amazing how wildlife kids transform, how this juvenile little blue heron is pure white and within a year will turn all blue.
The photo above is one of two juveniles with one of the parents not far behind.
These are wading birds that forge for minnows, crayfish, and frogs on the edges of marshes and ponds.
Wading Bird. They can be found in both freshwater and saltwater areas, though more species tend to favor freshwater habitats. Bogs, marshes, mudflats, shorelines, ponds and flooded areas are all popular habitats for wading birds, and they can even be found in urban and suburban areas such as along golf course ponds. Source: https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-a-wading-bird-387103
So how to tell if you are seeing a Little Blue? Legs and beak… The legs are greenish and their beak has bluish tint color with a dark blue tip.
Recently in Tampa, Lettuce Lake Park has a great boardwalk for nature photographers and while observing the Black-crowned Night Heron, I learned something.
This is just an observation guess… notice what the bird does while its beak is in the water. My guess is that by gently snapping into the water creates a vibration which will bring fish or other species from underwater to the surface.
The Little Blue Heron… super neat transformation this heron goes through. When they are juveniles their feathers are completely white with dusty bluish tips and going into their immature to an adult stage they begin molting; feathers start changing.
Like any wading bird, most spend a considerable amount of time preening.. and those are the best photo ops!